Celeb Spot: the Lion King Cast in the Serengeti

The Lion King is without a doubt my favourite film, show and story, ever. I genuinely believe the lessons learnt from Simba, Mufasa, Rafiki and the crew will get you far in life. I couldn’t have been happier when I got to meet (almost) the entire cast on my recent Safari in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.


“I. Killed. Mufasa.”

Lions in the Serengeti

Within 10 minutes of making our way through the Serengeti National Park gate I met Scar. Judging by the scratches and nips out of his tail he’d been fighting. I’m guessing he’d won though as his belly was fat and he looked satisfied, yet wicked.

Lions in the Serengeti

Simba (and Nala)

“Heeelp! Somebody? Anybody?… Help…”

Lions on Safari

On an early morning game drive (6am) through the Serengeti I saw Simba, Nala and all their friends frolicking round the lake. We stopped to watch as their mothers – Sarabi and Sarafini – kept an eye on them. My heart was racing as they decided to come over and check out our Land Cruisers. They crossed the road right in front of us and ended up walking right by our truck = Major Excitement.

Lion King in the Serengeti


“He’s alive!”

Baboons in the Serengeti

There were so many baboons around and in the Serengeti National Park – they’re actually considered a pest because they steal from the cars in the car park. I was still excited to see them though. Rafiki and about 25 of his fellow witch doctor baboons were hanging out in this tree. A bit later I saw him with his family and newborn here – they were having a great time ‘monkeying’ around.

Rafiki Lion King


“Everything the light touches is our kingdom.”

Lions in the Serengeti

On the first day we saw Mufasa playing with Simba on some rocks. They were quite shy – must’ve been having some bonding time. The next day I saw him helping Sarabi and Sarafini feast on some tasty wildebeest. He warded off the hyenas (see below). Once he felt everything was settled he came over to the cars to say hello. I felt so privileged to be so close to him: Circle of Life was on loop in my brain.

Cast of the Lion King in the Serengeti

Shenzi, Banzai and Ed

“No king, no king, la la la la la la.”

Cast of the Lion King in the Serengeti

Seeing these guys was incredible. They really are dirty scavengers. Them and about 30 of their cackle sat watching the lionesses eat their dinner and waiting to pounce. Every so often one of them would get a bit cocky and try to dive in for some food. The lionesses would growl at them and one even slapped one round the face with their paw at one point. They looked so shabby and skanky.

Lion King hyenas

Pride Rock

We saw a few rock formations in the parks, but this is the actual Pride Rock that inspired the film. Sadly there were no lions on it when we went, and no baboons holding up cubs either.

Pride Rock Lion King

Playing Lion King

But speaking of baboons holding up cubs, here are a few photos to show my dedication to honouring the Lion King while I was in Tanzania… 

Lions in Serengeti

Yep, I pretended to be a lion in front of my whole tour group. At least one of them was in on it with me…

Lion King in the Serengeti

Sadly I’m not strong/light enough to play either one of these characters, but managed to get these two to get stuck in. “It’s the cirrrrccle of life…”

The Lion King

And finally, me pretending to be Rafiki in the park near the entrance to the Serengeti. Has to be one of my favourite photos of all time. “Ahhh, Sevenya…”

Camping in the Serengeti: the Real Story
My Tour From Zanzibar to Nairobi
tagged in animals


  1. by Arianwen on July 4, 2012  10:51 am Reply

    Oh man, I am getting so nostalgic reading this! How cute are those lion cubs?! And I love that you got a pic of three evil-looking hyaenas! Brilliant effort recreating some of the scenes. I REALLY want to go back.

    • by Vicky on July 4, 2012  10:57 pm Reply

      Ha, thanks! I tried my best. Little cubs are so, so cute. Would've loved to hold them like at the start of The Lion King when Sarabi holds Simba and he sneezes – love that bit :).

  2. by Monica on July 5, 2012  8:53 am Reply

    These pictures are amazing! I can't believe you managed to get people from your tour group to re-enact the Lion King. Only you Flip Flop! After all our safari talk last night I REALLY REALLY want to go.

    • by Vicky on July 5, 2012  8:51 pm Reply

      Haha, thanks Monica :). After initially thinking I was insane they started to get into it. Yes, you need to. It was so much fun and I've got another 1,500+ photos of animals to share at some point...

  3. by Scarlett on July 5, 2012  10:38 am Reply

    LOL I LOVE THIS!! The cubs are adorable! I love you pretended to be a lion too!! x

    • by Vicky on July 5, 2012  8:52 pm Reply

      Thanks! Yeah, so cute aren't they. Just want to snuggle one of them. My hair is always a bit Mufasa first thing in the morning :). x

  4. by Vi on July 5, 2012  1:56 pm Reply

    You are so lucky to see whole family so close :)

    • by Vicky on July 5, 2012  8:53 pm Reply

      I know, it was incredible! I saw 25 lions in one day – never thought that would be possible in one day!

  5. by Waegook Tom on July 8, 2012  5:06 am Reply

    Hahaha I love the last photo, and you pretending to be a lion! Although like you, I'm a bit disappointed that Pride Rock was devoid of baboons holding up lion cubs. Boo to that!

    Great photos - who needs to go hunting for human celebrities when you can get in with some of Disney's biggest stars?

    • by Vicky on July 8, 2012  10:08 am Reply

      Ha, exactly! Maybe I can meet The Little Mermaid cast when I go diving in Egypt in September... although, I saw an official announcement this week from the National Ocean Service that mermaids aren't real. I'll show them!

  6. by Wends on July 14, 2012  5:56 am Reply

    OMG, I so love this post. It is awesome to see Simba and such a cuttee. I also love the post in which the whole film is whipped into a great post.

    Truly, this is a circle of life! Cheers from the Philippines

    • by Vicky on July 14, 2012  10:14 am Reply

      Thanks Wends. He's so cute isn't he?! Would love to snuggle him :).

  7. by Greg on July 24, 2012  11:15 am Reply

    That's GREAT. The first photo is TOTALLY Pride Rock. Man, I love the Lion King. Mufassa...oooh, say it again! Sorry for the ramble...your post just made me remember my childhood! :)

    • by Vicky on July 24, 2012  9:12 pm Reply

      Ha, no need to say sorry I love all Lion King talk. Pretty sure I drove everyone one crazy quoting it on the trip. It's my misspent childhood watching Lion King and Kindergarten Cop (random!) on repeat that's to blame.

  8. Pingback : How to Plan Your Safari Adventure - VickyFlipFlopTravels.com

  9. by Sergio on February 20, 2019  11:22 am Reply

    Hi Vicky:

    I just read your blog and saw you did a tour in Tanzania with gadventures. I wanted to ask for any tips you can give me because I’m doing a tour with this company to climb the Kilimanjaro through Lemosho route and then we fly to Zanzibar. I will do this June this year and I will appreciate any tips you can give me. Thank you very much.

    Sergio Gim

    • by VickyFlipFlop on February 20, 2019  11:24 am Reply

      Hello Sergio,

      I had an AMAZING time with G Adventures and would totally recommend them for travel. I've now done two trips with them and would love to go to Iran with them too, but we shall see.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll do what I can to help.



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